The Princeton University Preparatory Program (PUPP) celebrated the achievements of its tenth graduating class at a ceremony at the Princeton University Friend Center last week.
Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber, fresh from the University’s 267th Commencement exercises the day before, addressed 21 high schoolers from Princeton High School, Trenton Central High School Chambers Street and West campuses, Ewing High School, Nottingham High School, and Lawrence High School, as well as program alumni who had just graduated from college.
Founded in 2001, PUPP identifies academically gifted high school students in their sophomore year who come from financially disadvantaged backgrounds. The students come to the Princeton University campus for three summers of rigorous study, and receive academic enrichment during the school year.
Having the president of the University speak to the graduating class is a tradition that began with Shirley Tilghman. Last year, both outgoing President Tilghman and incoming President Eisgruber attended the ceremony.
Directed by Jason Klugman and Associate Director Torey Wilson, PUPP is designed to help equalize access to higher education for economically disadvantaged students. It enrolls 24 students a year and provides an academically intense, three-year college
Observed socioeconomic disparities in college admissions fueled the program’s creation by John Webb and Princeton University Professor Miguel Centeno in order to give high-achieving students the necessary resources to prepare them to apply and be accepted into selective colleges and universities.
The program consists of annual summer sessions during which the students take classes at Princeton University from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Students are required to attend for three consecutive summers and participate in academic enrichment sessions during the school year. The curriculum consists of writing, literature, math, science, social science, art, music appreciation, and college preparation.
This year’s graduating class members and the colleges they will be attending in the fall are Angela Amankwaah, The George Washington University; D’Andre Battle, Dickinson College; Danica Bradley, The College of New Jersey; Ebony Brown, University of Richmond; Monica Collado, Rutgers University; Paola Dubon, Muhlenberg College; Jordan Finger, Monmouth University; Diana Gomez, Muhlenberg College; Aliya Grooms, Spelman College; Akahyl Henry, Rutgers University; Erik Lima, Colgate University; David Lopez, The College of New Jersey; Simon Lopez, Rutgers University; Karem Mathiang, Dickinson College; Wilhelmina Minney, Muhlenberg College; Chelsea-Mia Pierre, Dickinson College; Caelle Rousseau, Amherst College; Yadira Santos, The College of New Jersey; Cynthia Silva, Muhlenberg College; Magdalena Stankowska, Princeton University; Kadija Yilla, Pomona College.
“This year, all of our students were accepted into Rutgers, and this is a first, although all but one were accepted last year,” said Mr. Wilson, who has been with the program since its founding. “The one exception got an early acceptance at Princeton and didn’t apply to Rutgers. This year we have students going to some schools that are new for us such as Pomona College in California and Amherst College in Massachusetts.”
On average, PUPP students apply to about 10 colleges. For more information, visit: www.princeton.edu/pupp/.